Tenori-On Orange $699 for “Home Use” – Minus Battery, Lights on Back

The Tenori-On, the grid-based musical instrument with whimsical sequenced lights created by Toshio Iwai, has been gradually becoming more affordable. The original model, complete with its rounded metal case, has already been cut to US$999 here in North America. Now, Yamaha announces that it is making an “Orange” version which also slices costs. A plastic case stands in for the metal one, the lights are orange instead of white, and lights appear only on one side. Yamaha says this is for “home use” — that is, you don’t need the device lighting up on the other side if no one’s …

READ MORE →

Going Mobile: Nintendo DS-10 Comes to North America

Today was full of good news for people interested in carrying pads in the palm of their hand. Fans of the Nintendo DS in North America, the Korg DS-10 Plus synthesizer for Big N’s game system is now coming to your side of the Pacific Ocean. (That also bodes well, I think, for other parts of the world.) The DS-10 I think really deserves some credit for making a straight-up music title a hit on gaming platforms, and its success certainly surpassed my own expectations. It’s not a game, it’s not an interactive experience, it’s not a music game – …

READ MORE →

Inside the Performance Rights Act, And Deciding Who Gets Paid on the Radio

Performers don’t get paid for radio play, even if writers do. Billy Corgan – yes, the Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan – is getting in on the issue, testifying to Congress. So should you be on Billy’s side, or the broadcasters? That’s a trickier question. Photo (CC) Andra Veraart. Policy, intellectual property, and changing business models remain hot threads to follow on this site as we watch the transformation of music distribution in the electronic age. This time, we welcome a new contributor to look inside the issues. Surprise: one radio host sides with the record industry, and the issues may …

READ MORE →

Artists’ Jobs Aren’t Jobs? Will the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up?

Well, someone has pork on the brain, anyway. Photo: Jason Brackins. While I’m discussing the potential to take new directions in the arts and technology worldwide, and about ways in which creative technology can help repair the global economy, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make one sobering concession: To many policy makers, the “arts” don’t count as the economy. If you’re employed as an artist, (and by extension in creative fields), you’re not a worker. Um… thanks? Never mind that in the US alone, nearly 6 million people are employed in the arts – or that that figure itself …

READ MORE →

Harvard Students Defend Privacy Against RIAA; Industry Pushing Campus Licenses?

Reflecting Harvard: a bike passes through Cambridge. Photo (CC) sandcastlematt. Music DRM may be a thing of the past, online sales may be growing, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. record industry has missed a beat in its ongoing legal and lobbying campaign against music piracy online. The latest battle starts today in Rhode Island federal court. The difference this time: the RIAA and record companies will have to face a Harvard Law prof and his students. Prof. Charles Nesson and his team allege the industry is abusing the court system, unfairly making “examples” out of the people they’re suing, …

READ MORE →

Tenori-On is Shipping in US; Tenori-On Meets Kyma Synth

Tenori-on Meets Kyma from Nomad Cinema on Vimeo. US distributor Keyfax NewMedia reports that it has Yamaha’s Tenori-On in stock and shipping out now. (Pre-orders began at the beginning of May, but this is apparently the first the US unit has made it to our shows — unless you happened to win one from createdigitalmusic.com, that is, in April, in which case you know who you are.) Every time I mention Tenori-On, despite the awe and lust it inspires in some musicians, someone raises the point of its somewhat retro-styled, simple sound bank. Fair enough: the minimal sounds are fantastic …

READ MORE →

Monomists, Unite: Monome Mavens Meetup in Princeton; Will You, Too?

As the Monome, the sustainably-produced open controller hardware, spreads, it’s going from one-person gimmick (i.e., “look what I’ve got!”) to club and community (“let’s get together and monomate!”). Laptop circles like Share in New York have already introduced the digital drum circle, but Monome owners may soon be converging, as well. Last weekend, Monome users met up in Princeton, New Jersey. Kempton writes:: A quick recap, there was a little show and tell, a few instructional sessions showing what people do, and several jam sessions during which people walked around and were able to watch each other in action. MLR …

READ MORE →

Bent Music Appears, Awkwardly, On Local TV – Film at 11

Something strange is happening on local affiliate news programs across the country: Circuit benders and other weirdo musicians are being asked to drop by and discuss their art for the American Public. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d be a little confused and freaked out if I woke up and saw this first thing in the morning (and I lived in Ohio): And it’s not just Dan Deacon. Dynamic duo Beatrix*Jar had a similarly awkward experience. There’s something strange about what’s going on here. The news people conducting the interviews are are genuinely enthusiastic, but there’s …

READ MORE →

Tenori-On in America: US$1200, May 1, Limited Run

In the unlikely event of a water landing, use the Tenori-On to triangulate the mysterious radio broadcast coming from the French woman on the desert island. Erm, sorry — yeah, I finally got DVDs to watch Lost. Random Mode in the Tenori-On manual; image (C)2007 Yamaha Corporation. Here’s the good news: the Tenori-On is really going on sale here in America. It’s about the same price as in the UK, as expected. (GBP600 = about US$1200.) The bad news? If you want to buy one, good luck. Yamaha says initially only about 100 units a month will be available. (We …

READ MORE →